this post is so long overdue, i debated even posting it at all. i thought maybe it would be better left until the leaves begin to change again, until there was that chill in the air... until people actually wanted a hearty rich soup to guard themselves against the long dark evenings of winter. but then i reminded myself that i have made this soup almost without exception every week for the past four months, no matter the weather, and i have eaten it happily, with a fresh crunchy salad to balance out its warmth, or with crackers crumbled over and stirred in to fill me up on one of the odd rainy days we had in may. and i'll probably continue to make this soup, at least several times a month, over the course of the summer and well into the fall. that's because it's my absolute favourite soup of all time. and if you like curry, if you like rich, delicious flavours that meld together perfectly, if you like the beauty that is split pea soup but with a delightful twist, this might just become your favourite soup too.
curried lentil soup
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped (if you like more, add more. it's a rule in our house that i have to keep the garlic & onions toned down... a rule i'm working on changing.)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
6 cups vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 cups green lentils
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp indian curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk (add more if you want the soup to be richer & creamier)
1 bunch of green onions or chives, minced
heat the 2 tbsp coconut oil in a big pot on the stove. Add the shallot & garlic, and sauté a little until they soften. Add the broth and lentils and simmer with the lid on about 30-50 minutes, until the lentils are cooked (make sure to taste a few just in case).
while the soup is simmering, heat the 3 tbsp coconut oil in a small saucepan. when it melts stir in the curry powder and let it combine over low-medium heat. remove from heat about a minute after you have mixed the curry powder into the oil.
remove the soup from the heat, add the coconut milk and 1/4 tsp of salt, and puree with an immersion blender (i like to puree until its mostly smooth). stir in half of the spiced butter, and season to taste.
serve the soup in medium sized bowls, drizzled with the remaining spiced butter and sprinkled with the minced green onions. if you're reheating leftovers for lunch the next day, add a bit of water to the soup as it tends to thicken up over time.
- when i'm short on lentils, i chop up a potato or two to make up the difference. it adds a starchier quality to the soup, but the flavour is still delightful.
- if i'm looking for a richer flavour, i'll add more coconut milk, and serve it in smaller dishes with some fresh baked bread on the side for a wonderfully indulgent cold-weather meal.
ps: if you don't yet own heidi's super natural every day, you should buy it. seriously. it's an incredibly versatile vegetarian cookbook with superb photos and amazing recipes. i pull it out every week to make one recipe or another, or sometimes even if i'm just having a bad day i'll leaf through heidi's beautiful creations, reading her words about foodie life in san francisco, and i just feel warm and happy.